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Flexible rewards should be a part of everyone’s miles andpoints strategy because they afford you – well – flexibility! And flexibility is key when it comes to making the most of the rewards you earn and taking advantage of various travel deals. It’s why many of the best credit cards for travel for travel earn flexible points currencies.
I’ve found that flexible rewards come in particularly handy when it comes to family travel and, more specifically, when booking hotel stays abroad.
I’ll explain more.
Flexible Rewards Are Fantastic for Family Travel
Earning flexible rewards points like Chase Ultimate Rewards, Citi ThankYou, AMEX Membership Rewards, and Capital One Venture miles gives you options. You aren’t locked into one airline or one hotel brand, which can be invaluable for families or larger groups booking hotel stays abroad in places like Europe and Asia.
Why? Because hotel rooms (and bed configurations, specifically) can be different overseas compared to what you’ll find here in the US.
In many other countries, a “double” room often consists of 2 single beds or a full bed, not 2 queens or a king. This poses a unique problem for families or groups of friends traveling together because there’s just less horizontal square footage for sleeping!
I can tell you from experience that it’s much more comfortable to share a queen bed with my 5’10” sister than it is to try and squeeze the 2 of us into a double. And if you’re group consists of 3+ people, it’s near impossible to make 2 single beds work.
Sometimes you’ll even find that in many places abroad, a “king” is actually just 2 single beds pushed together. So it’s near impossible for, say, a child to sleep in the middle of 2 adults. And the extra charge you’ll be faced with for getting a rollaway bed (or 2) can blow your budget.
My daughter, my mom, and I recently stayed at the InterContinental Hong Kong. They don’t even have standard rooms that accommodate more than 3 people and wanted to charge nearly $60 for a rollaway bed. Thankfully I was able to talk them out of charging for the extra bed, but again, I might have chosen a different hotel had I noticed that they only offer rooms with 2 single beds or a “king” that consisted of 2 beds being pushed together.
So, bed configurations are something to be aware of when you’re booking a room overseas. But again, it’s circumstances like these where flexible rewards can be so useful.
If I hadn’t been able to sweet talk my way out of the extra bed charge, I would have just used miles from my Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card to offset that extra cost. Alternatively, I could have booked an Airbnb or non-chain hotel and used my flexible rewards to erase those costs. Those kinds of accommodations often offer more space and are therefore more convenient and comfortable for groups and families.
I also have the Chase Sapphire Reserve and with it, get 1.5 cents per point when booking travel through Chase’s travel portal. This can be another great way to save on accommodations when you aren’t staying at a chain hotel.
Bottom line, you’ll find it a lot easier to travel comfortably with a stash of flexible travel rewards points on hand. Here are my favorite credit cards for earning flexible travel rewards:
- Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card (Best card for beginners)
- Chase Sapphire Reserve® (Best premium travel card)
- Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card (Easiest rewards to redeem)
- Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card (Best Chase card for small business owners)
- The Business Platinum® Card from American Express (Best American Express card for small business owners)
- Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard® (Great for anyone looking for simplicity)